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U.S. stocks opened higher on Friday ahead of a measure of consumer confidence that could show improvement in September from last month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 65 points to 11,498. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 5 points to 1,215. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 7 points to 2,615. The averages keep performing well even though there are some cracks in the rally. On the earnings front, Research in Motion is down 20% following disappointing earnings and lowered guidance. That stock looks just like Hewlett Packard. Netflix is down 5% after dropping over 12% yesterday after lowering guidance. The commodity space is struggling. Goldman Sachs market strategist is recommending a more defensive position steering away from economic sensitive positions. Patriot Coal is down 10% after guiding production lower. Fertilizer firm, CF Industries is lower on cautious comments from an analyst. The techs remain the bright spot in the markets. Texas Instruments is up a percent on a dividend hike. Intel and Nvidia also look good. Ebay is up 2% on an upgrade. Yahoo is up 2% on M&A speculation. Apple and Google continue to look good. The financials opened higher, but then sold off. News out of Europe that the EU leaders want to postpone any major restructuring until next month is not lending support to the banks. A better than expected consumer confidence number did not lend support the markets. In fact, the averages sold off after that number. After the first hour, the averages gave up their gains due to weakness in commodities and banks. Through the morning the averages bounced back into the green thanks to the techs. But other than the techs, nothing looks that great. In the afternoon, more of the same. The averages crept higher led by techs. Intel, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and IBM look great. Research in Motion, however, is down 20%.The financials and commodities look awful and the European problems persist, but we're higher. Go figure. In the last hour the averages were able to hold on to their gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 75 points at 11,509, gaining 4.7% for the week. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 1,216, up 5.4% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite gained 15 points, or 0.6%, to 2,622, rallying 6.3% for the week. I wish we could keep this going.
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